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Singapore WP’s Sylvia Lim files motion to debate issues raised by Parti Liyani’s case in Parliament

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Parti Liyani (right) and her lawyer Anil Balchandani (left) outside the State Courts on Sept 8, 2020. — TODAY pic
Parti Liyani (right) and her lawyer Anil Balchandani (left) outside the State Courts on Sept 8, 2020. — TODAY pic

SINGAPORE, Sept 16 — Workers’ Party (WP) chairman Sylvia Lim has filed an adjournment motion in Parliament to debate issues raised by the conviction and subsequent acquittal of Parti Liyani, the ex-maid of former Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong.

The opposition party announced the filing of the motion titled “Justice For All: Enhancing Equity in the Criminal Justice System” in a Facebook post today.

In the post, WP said the motion, which was submitted two days ago for the Parliament’s next sitting in October, “will make reference to the deeper issues raised by the recent case involving Ms Parti Liyani”.

It added that the intention is to “discuss aspects of the criminal justice system and the challenges faced by persons of less means in navigating it”, pointing out that specific suggestions will be raised in an attempt to improve the system.

WP appended a screenshot of a memorandum which the Office of the Clerk of Parliament had published on Wednesday acknowledging the motion submitted by Lim, who is a Member of Parliament (MP) for Aljunied Group Representation Constituency.

The motion is now subject to a ballot under Section 2(8)(d) of the Parliament’s Standing Orders, which state that the right to raise a matter on the motion for the adjournment of Parliament shall be allotted to one MP only for each sitting day, if necessary by ballot, under the instructions of the Speaker.

Parti’s court case came under intense public scrutiny after High Court judge Chan Seng Onn overturned her conviction on Sept 4, highlighting flaws in the investigation of her case, the credibility of evidence given by the Liew family, and the way the prosecution handled the case.

Parti, now a free woman, was originally sentenced to two years and two months’ jail in March 2019 after she was found guilty in a district court of stealing around S$34,000 worth of items from Liew and his family.

In particular, Justice Chan stated that Mr Liew and his son Karl had an “improper motive” in accusing the Indonesian domestic worker of theft back in 2016.

However, it was revealed that a police investigating officer did not seize or take into custody items that became the subject of the charges until much later. It was also established that the police did not ensure that an Indonesian interpreter was present when recording her statements, which then came to be conducted in a mix of English and Malay.

Following the public backlash, Liew has resigned from various public and private sector roles.

Law Minister K Shanmugan also said that Government agencies are looking into what “went wrong” in the chain of events that led to Parti being found guilty of stealing. — TODAY

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